Pupils’ chance to have their say

The Government Communication Information System (GCIS), in partnership with various stakeholders, held a pre state of the nation address (Sona) schools debate at John Noah High School last week.

GCIS representative, Lwando Helesi, said the debate was an annual programme aimed at involving the youth from a young age. “GCIS organises the programme with various stakeholders to raise awareness about the Sona which will take place on February 13. We encourage the youth to be patriotic and participative citizens in our democracy. We want them to be involved in all government processes and we provide a platform for them to engage and have their say in matters of service delivery so that their lives change for the better. These young people are obviously the future of the country so we need to instil these values so they are able to shape the future. We have seen the issue of gender based violence and the fees must fall movement. It is young people who are bringing these issues to the fore. We want to encourage such young people to shape their own future,” said Helesi.

CSP College marketing executive, Thembakazi Yiweni, said the institution which offers computer classes and matric rewrites has initiated a campaign under the hashtag help a black child get an education and has collaborated with the GCIS in their educational programmes. “The college has provided the six pupils participating in the debate with bursaries to assist with extra classes. The institution gave out 10 bursaries last month,” she said.

Deputy school principal Lindiwe Ntuli said such programmes were eye-opening and imperative for pupils. A career guidance session was also hosted on the day, led by members of the Nonzwakazi Methodist Church of Southern Africa circuit 302. “Most of our scholars come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have no access to computers or the internet. When programmes such as the career guidance session are brought to the school, they assist in shaping the future for grade 12 pupils. It is important that we initiate such programmes at the beginning of the year so by the time they apply for university they are well-informed about the various career opportunities available. The debate was constructive and has taught pupils a sense of responsibility,” said Ntuli.

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